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Lubinda dates millers


GOVERNMENT will soon meet millers to discuss the possibility of reducing mealie-meal prices following the reduction in fuel prices, Minister of Agriculture and Livestock Given Lubinda has said.
The Energy Regulation Board last month slashed fuel prices by an average 28 percent, but most service providers have been slow in effecting a downward push on costs for goods and services.
Mr Lubinda said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that Government is working round the clock to ensure that mealie-meal prices  are reduced.
“I am just waiting to be briefed by my officers at the ministry before I call for a meeting with millers.
“Government is very concerned about the high prices of mealie meal and it is just important that we work together with millers so that the prices can be reduced,” Mr Lubinda said.
He said Government is putting in place mechanisms that will ensure that mealie-meal prices do not increase further in the short and medium term.
Mr Lubinda has since asked millers in the country to act morally and immediately reduce the prices.
He said it is sad that the people of Zambia have been subjected to buying mealie-meal at exorbitant prices despite Government having reduced the price of fuel.
And Agriculture and Livestock permanent secretary David Shamulenge has advised the ministry’s staff in Isoka district to be proactive on project implementation, reports ZANIS.
Dr Shamulenge made the call yesterday when he met Isoka district agriculture coordinator (DACO) Victor Siame during his continued Farmer Input Support Programme  (FISP) implementation verification in Muchinga Province.
Dr Shamulenge noted that farmers are supposed to be paid early for them to adequately plan for  the subsequent season while inputs are also expected to be delivered by August to facilitate early distribution to farflung areas of the district.
He assured the DACO that Muchinga Province will be given priority in input distribution due to its bad terrain and to ensure that distribution is completed before most roads become impassable.
Dr Shamulenge also said that there is need for private sector involvement in both input distribution and crop purchases from farmers for the viability of the two programmes.
And speaking when he called on district commissioner Joe Siwila at his office yesterday, Dr Shamulenge said that he will look into the plight of Isoka to ensure that the youths benefit from programmes coming to the district in terms of employment.

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